If there was ever a band that never quite received its dues, it is ‘The Chasm’. This three-piece Mexican-American death/thrash act has been around since 1992, with a handful of albums/ep’s being released via obscure, underground record labels. I’ve read about this band for aeons, but getting to hear their material was another matter. It is fair to say that they have suffered from lack of exposure over the past decade.
Seems as though the good folk at Earache/Wicked World are about to change that. At the very least, with world wide promotion of ‘The Spell of Retribution’, ‘The Chasm’ are going to gather some massive exposure and with that, a whole new fan base. Certainly, for anyone who loves a good bout of blackened death with thrash style sensibilities, ‘The Chasm’ are going to be very appealing.
With the Mille Petrozza like vocals (circa Endless Pain) of Daniel Corchado laying down a brutally raw and thoroughly direct line throughout ‘The Chasm’s’ complex material, ‘The Spell..’ is anything but a run of the mill death/thrash affair. That’s not to say it’s redefined the rule book - far from it - it’s just that for all of its impersonation of Maiden, Dissection, Slayer, Bathory and Kreator, ‘The Chasm’ actually have created their own style. It’s fairly subtle, but the complexity of their compositions and a highly obtuse, yet compelling melodic lead element that tends to be the backbone of their music gives ‘The Spell’ and the band extra points for originality and creativity.
If there were anything to complain about, then the albums lengthy 66-minute invitation would be it. There’s no denying ‘The Chasm’s’ wish to be inventive and complex in nature, but with a 90% mid-tempo make up, their compositions are not diverse enough to have a lasting impact. As a result, they tend to meander a little. I’m not overly keen on the production either, although I believe the slightly dry and buried guitar sound to be more intentional than anything to do with mixing errors in the studio. Other will find it pleasing, I don’t.
‘The Spell’ is a great introduction to ‘The Chasm’. It’s nothing groundbreaking in terms of ideas, but has enough individuality to convince the listener that this is not just another faceless death/thrash act. ‘The Chasm’ have a cult following and no doubt they worship this new album. For me, it’s interesting enough, but I doubt its longevity.